AVIATION SAFETY

The Role of Aviation Safety

AAI Focus

January 16, 2018

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Aviation Safety Directorate in AAI, is based on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) guidelines and follows the ones contained in the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) issued by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), India.

Aviation Safety Directorate in Airports Authority of India (AAI) was formed in the year 1998, based on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) guidelines. It follows strictly the guidelines given in the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) of India.

This directorate conducts safety audits at AAI aerodromes and civil enclaves, once in two years to maintain the highest level of safety for smooth aircraft operations as one of its important functions. The task of conducting of safety audit is not only limited to conducting the safety audit but also ensures that the necessary corrective actions are taken by those airports in a time-bound schedule. This task is conducted by subject matter experts from the operational directorates like Air Traffic Management, Communication and Navigational Services, Ground & Flight Safety, Engineering and Fire and Rescue Services.

Further, safety culture in the organisation is extremely important to be maintained as AAI deals with safety of aircraft operations, which is highly critical. To maintain this, regular training is given to all officials with regard to maintenance of safety in all the various facets of operations like Air Traffic Management, Aeronautical Communication Service, Apron Management Service, Engineering Services, with regards to maintenance of runways and taxiways besides terminal buildings, maintenance of various operational lightings and the Fire and Rescue Services required to take position during every landing and departure to handle any type of emergencies.

The Corporate Safety Management System Manual has been developed duly accepted by the national regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). This manual is updated once in two years. Based on the Corporate Safety Management Manual (C-SMM) all the airports of AAI have developed their own station level Safety Management Manual that is to be strictly adhered to by all the stations. Development of a DGCA accepted SMS manual is a mandatory requirement for all licensed airports in India to conduct aircraft operations.

To have a close monitoring of safety, all or any change that requires to be undertaken in an airport involves a process known as Safety Assessment, which requires participation of all stakeholders to finalise the magnitude of the change and the corresponding mitigation ways to overcome the hazards.This change has to be accepted accordingly at different levels depending on the magnitude of the change to have a safe implementation of the change thus made.

As safety is a never-ending process and has to be continuously improved upon, AAI has got the system of setting targets on an annual basis for the various critical type of hazards, like runway incursions and excursions, bird hits, wildlife hazards, communication and navigational aids failures, breach of separation, etc., so that they are monitored and improvements are made for reduction of the targets every year.

Thus, Aviation Safety Directorate at AAI is the internal oversight authority for safe, orderly and expeditious conduct of aircraft operations in and over the Indian Airspace as enumerated in our Corporate mission.

Safety Initiatives

The various activities are organised by ICAO in order to streamline the safety processes in the provisions of Air Navigation Services and Airport Operations.

Accordingly, the Global Aviation Safety Program (GASP) objectives call for States to put in place robust and sustainable safety oversight systems and to progressively evolve them into more sophisticated means of managing safety.

In order to meet these safety objectives, Regional Aviation Safety Groups (RASG) and Regional Safety Oversight Organizations (RSOO) are actively involved in the coordination and, to the extent possible harmonisation of all activities undertaken to address aviation safety issues at a regional level. The global aviation safety roadmap is implemented by individual states or a group of states.

Recently, in the month of October, 2017, AAI and DGCA jointly conducted a workshop associating airport operators to discuss enhancement of aviation safety at Indian Airports. In this workshop the formation of Airport Operators Safety Group (AOSG), with members from the various airport operators has been considered, which would evolve as an effective informal group to harmonise number of safety activities implementation at the airports. It was also desired to consider utilisation of common risk assessment database among airport operators to implement predictive risk management.

In this regard, a new initiative to create a Safety Hazard Identification Library of India (SHILOI) that would enable safety managers to effectively identify safety hazards for various changes that will be introduced by airports in the quest of enhancing aviation safety either individually or collectively has been proposed by AAI. The proposal includes the establishment of a voluntary task force for the realisation of the project.

In the long term, the AOSG can build upon safety management practices to develop advanced safety oversight systems, including predictive risk management. This objective is intended to sustain collaborative decisionmaking in an environment characterised by increased automation and the integration of advanced capabilities on the ground and in the air.

The evolution to this dynamic and integrated environment will require the continuous exchange of information on a real-time basis. As a result, coordination of safety management activities between airport operators as well as across all operational domains will be essential.

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